Archive for the ‘Me’ Category

Ah go on!

Walking down the street in town this evening on my way to post a letter, this girl stopped me. At first I thought i knew her, because she came jogging up to me, and I was wondering who it was because she had a big coat on, and a hood over her head. She mumbled something to me about a survey and free lottery scratch card and she was off. I hardly knew what I was in for as I stood there in the biting wind, answering her questions.

Her first few questions were something like this:

“Do you use the internet?”.

“Yes”.

“Have you visited these sites?”

“Hmmm,” as I scanned down through them. “Seven out of the ten”
“Do you use email?”

“Ummm, yes!”

“How many email addresses have you?”

“Hmmm, let me see …. “. Long pause as I do a quick count. “Somewhere between twenty and thirty “.

“WHAT!”

“Ah, yeah. They build up over time, and they’re all for different things”

“O.K.A.Y. … Lets move on”

“What kind of computer? (PC/Laptop/Games console/ ipod etc)”

“A PC only”

“Do you play games on it?”

“NO!”

“Do you watch TV?”

“Not much really?”

“Do you watch any of these shows” (She shows me a list of programs)

“None, well not regularly anyway”

“Do you remember any of the advertising for these shows?”

“Oh god no”

“Not even one?”

“No. Advertising is a waste of space … my brain just switches off if I see it”

“O.K.A.Y….”

I was wondering at this stage if she was thinking I was a bit of a weirdo or something … but she soldiered on. She then continued to ask questions about my employment status and then about if I knew the rights that employees have … and finally asked me for my phone number, name and address. I just made up those for her. No way was she getting those details. Once they have lots of marketing details on you, they can sell their marketing information on you to people or companies who would love to call you with something to sell.

I generally like to give surveys if I have the time. Sometimes it’s a game to me to try to find out the motives of why the survey was commissioned and what benefits it may give. The range of questions can be interesting though. But in this case I think it was just get the information for selling onto others.

It was my first time actually getting an incentive to do a study. But I wonder about the scratch card. Do they know that there’s nothing to win in the cards? can they get them printed out like that so it’s a guaranteed loss every time?

When I think about it in hindsight, I don’t like the way I reacted. I needed to stop her and explain herself more about where she was coming from. I am left with that void of information now and I feel stupid for making that mistake. Hopefully, I won’t make that same mistake twice.

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Rabbits, Dogs, now … Mouse

No new blog entry yesterday, I must confess that I did not have one scheduled earlier, but then when I was settling down to write a nice article this morning, I spilled my big mug of tea all over my keyboard, notes, invoices and my mouse. I’ve done this thing once before when I was working as an engineer, so I know how bad sticky tea can be to electronics…. BAD! I wiped out the keyboard that last time. This time I made a frantic effort to whip the battery out of the keyboard, and turn it at a good angle to drain properly. When everything was cleaned (or so I thought), I put my hand on the mouse, and lifted it gently off the mat. Tea literally flowed out of it. The prognosis was bad. Infra-red optical part was not flashing, I shook it frantically to get out all the liquid. New batteries, still no good. I opened it up and tried to clean it as much as possible inside. No response. It sat over the cooker before dinner, so it could dry out quickly. The flashing red light came back … but there was no communication between it and the computer *sob*.

I spent half an hour trying to maneuver my way around windows. It gets very tricky and frustrating when you can only tab your way around. (It might be a good way to test out how easily frustrated people can get.) So I gave up, and decided to get a new mouse when I was in town next.

The brother D was on the blower later and said there was a spare one upstairs. mmmm, a fancy new one to play with (for a while). It’s got a slightly different shape, and is built for a person with long fingers (not my short stubby little ones) …. but it is funny because it has a fan inside it … to cool the palm of your hand …. like it’s going to sweat or something with all the mouse pushing that I’ll be up to … and the fan makes a racket!

So I’ve still promised to get myself a new mouse, that is quiet, simple, optical, and watertight.

The picture shows the old and the new on my desk. Hmmmm, the new one looks kinds space aged or something. What you can’t see are the wear marks on the old mouse. I didn’t notice them until looked close. I have to ask where the paint went to? Interestingly enough, from the picture, you may notice the mouse-mat I use is actually the backing cardboard cover of a notepad. It’s much better than any mouse-mat that I’ve ever come across. It didn’t handle the tea wetting very elegantly though 😦 A good mouse mat would have been a winner there. You’ll probably also notice the mess on the desk … some day now, I’m going to have one of those manic cleanup sessions … some day now!

This is the inside of my old Dell Logitech mouse. How complex can these things get. Back in the good old days of the rollerball, there was no circuit board. Everything was simple … and they worked for ages. whatever happened to simplicity of design? Such is the evolution of hardware these days. … And, my attempt to draw a spiral (under the mouse) is pretty awful.

Addled this evening

It’s been a strange evening. It seems like everything is coming down on me, and nothing is going right.
It all started at 7pm, we were supposed to have our usual game of indoor soccer. We arrived down only to find the gates shut, the lights off. Nobody home. Teddy! where are you gone to … come back and open the door please.
Actually it started much earlier in the day. The mobile phones have been dodgy all day, and texts are arriving a few hours late, and I can’t make phone calls. It’s just an unusuable service at the moment. That problem still persists till this moment, but there are lots of workarounds of course.
I had a farm discussion meeting at 9pm, so I was gearing up for that, only to be told that there was an IFA meeting on in town at the very same time. I wanted to go to the two, so I settled on sticking to my original plan. People would not be happy with me whichever way I turned. As it turned out, I didn’t make the start of either of them.
I got a phone call (one the mobile that had steadfastly refused to work all evening) from the brother at 8:45pm. His first words were “Help, I’m stuck”. The car had just stopped on the road about 15 miles from home, he wanted me to come and bring him back. AAGGGGHHHH. Everything at once. So I went and got him and towed him home with a big strong rope about 15 foot long. It was not the easiest trip because it’s over the side of a mountain (a big hill I say again) and there are some nice steep bits, so I was a little on tenderhooks as to whether we’d make it up those inclines … but with flying colours we made it.Downhill was interesting too, I noticed early on that if the brother braked in the car behind me, then my car would swerve to the left… so any hard breaking was out of the question. So downhill, we freewheeled … but it was the car being towed that did all the breaking downhill. I wouldn’t recommend being towed at all unless you’re a good driver, have a tow-bar and nerves of steel.

Eventually we got home at 10:20pm. I weighed up my options, and headed to my original planned meeting. It ‘s very informal, and often the best part is at the end where people feel easier to discuss their views over a cup of tea. The meeting lasted another 30 minutes after I arrived, and sure enough tea and biscuits brought lots of information to everyones ears.
I arrived home at 12:15am, with only thought of bed. But there parked in front of the house was my other brothers car, and I remembered that they were coming in tonight. So another hour stopped talking in the kitchen, before I have been able to head to bed… and now I realise that I’ve drank so much tea tonight, that I’m not able to switch off at all.
Wide eyed and bushy tailed is my current state. I need to get that concrete pillow for christmas.

On Being Famous ….

I don’t know Desperate Horse Wife. The other day I ended up on her blog, though I don’t know how … and dropped a comment in passing. Now she has TAGGED me in a game of “When I become Famous…”, and says I’m to list my demands.

Aaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhh! It’s not usually something that I’m into to be honest. At first I thought it was one of those chain-mails … well it is kinda, and this is a weak link in the chain, because the other end of my link ain’t attached to another link … so the games ends here for the moment (sorry). Her own effort at the extravagances of being famous (which I will presume means being rich into the bargain as well), seem to have a lot to do with comfort and chocolate. Nothing wrong with that I say. But, it has gotten me thinking how I would react to becoming rich and famous.

1. Well obviously my first item would be to get one or two people to run the farm for me, so I could go about my business of doing things that famous people do. That goes without saying. Of course there’s nothing like going back in every now and again for an hour here, a day there to get the hands dirty and to feel good about myself again, to get away from the stresses of being famous. A bit like Mel Gibson, George W Bush, Tom Selleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Roberts etc etc

2. Of course I’d have to bring the house up to standard. It takes a lot of time and money to bring an 18th century Georgian house up to standard. Obviously money would be no objective. Only the best will do if you’re going to have your famous friends around. Appearances have to be kept up.

3. On the matter of having famous friends around, I would of course have to transform the old Georgian farm buildings into deluxe apartments, so that visitors could have their own privacy while on the estate.

4. Needless to say, I would have my own butler & team of servants to run the estate and everything from walking the dogs to shining the sliver to serving up meals on request.

5. Security would be key as well. A nice 12 foot wall all around the estate should keep out most of the riff-raff. While on that thought, half the farm used to hold deer in the past. It was known as the “deer park”. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring that back and have some deer hunting on the grounds, as well as grouse. Of course it would be all managed, and stocks replenished. Lots of horses, and maybe an elephant for the novelty factor so my famous friends could talk about me. Oh, I could just about imagine Wesley Snipes taking out a poor unfortunate deer. Oh the excitement!

6. Shep and Buttons would become pampered pups, but they would still lead the happy life they currently have. Not a lead in sight, rabbits a plenty in the horizon to chase, and maybe the odd dangerous liaisons along the way with a bitch of equal fame.

7. Clothes, well the current bunch of rags would just not cut it at all. So I’d have to get my own wardrobe assistant, to be at my beck and call. Even while on the estate, I would need to be impeccable looking.
8. I couldn’t be without a personal fitness instructor. I’d need to be pushed when I need it to get into shape and stay in shape … all for the adoring masses. A big gut just would not go down well in the glossy magazines now would it!

9. Get myself a mistress or two. Something on the side just to keep things interesting every now and then when I’m getting bored of my partner of the moment … a bit like those French upper class: “A French gentleman thinks no more of proclaiming that he has a mistress than that he has a tailor” – William Makepeace ThackerayThe Paris Sketch Book

9. I would have to purchase the land from under all the neighbors, or find some obscure rule of law, to evict them from their plots. Can’t be seen to be living too close to anyone unimportant now.

10. Hmm, chocolate.Oh, I could go on, but I wouldn’t want to offend those living outside the estate walls.

You know when all is said and done, I’m not really enamored by fame and fortune at all. There’s lots of emptiness and posturing involved in the business of being famous. I’m just not me, and I’m very happy happy doing what I’m doing, with the friends I have. Yes I’d like to lighten the load a little, but wouldn’t everyone.

Note 1: follow the link to Tom Selleck … it’s just funny

Note 2: I quite enjoyed the writing this, which surprised me very much. Thanks to Desperate-Horse-Wife for the push.

Note 3: A recent survey of British teens, concluded that the majority just wanted to be celebrities … and not have any particular career or talent. There’s an awful lot of them in for a big bump. Sorry, I can’t find the link now. I may find it later.

A Solution for Rough Hands

My blog is (obviously) located on wordpress.com, and they give you blog stats … and it’s interesting to look at the google searches that brought people to my site.One funny one the other day was “A solution for rough hands”. So that gets me thinking, and I’m wondering who wants rid of me? So I’ll have to stop blogging again, and get people back on my side 😉 Nooooooooo. That’s not going to happen this time again hopefully.

So how do I deal with rough hands since I’m in a physical job. These are a few points:

  • When milking, wear gloves. It may seem obvious but so many people I know do not do this. It’s usually okay in the summer when the water is hot, but for the rest of the year, I find that coming in contact with cold water, and chemicals are very harsh on the hands. A few years ago when I was not wearing gloves, my hands used to crack and were very sore and unsightly. So I got sense, and found that wearing latex or nitrite gloves does not dim the sense of touch (which is very necessary for milking) too much, and my hands are pretty good.
  • When doing physical work, wear gloves. This will stop blistering and severe welts forming. It does not need to be explained, but is overlooked a lot of the time. Any old glove that is thick enough and still allows a good grip is good enough.
  • Use moisturizers. Unmanly as they may be, they do help. Now don’t get the ones that will make you smell like a summer garden of flowers, just a simple one that will do the job quietly.
  • When it gets cold, wear thermal gloves.

Ah, you know what I’m saying. Wearing the correct type of gloves will save your hands. If they are in a bad condition, it doesn’t take long to get them back into shape. Maybe three of four weeks.

It’s simple advice, but all too easily neglected.

We can’t run on Empty

Passing behind a visiting car in front of our home, I saw this back window sticker looking up at me. I’m fortunate that I’ve never had to receive blood in my past, and hopefully never into the future either. Even more fortunate that my blood is good enough, and clean enough to be able to give to others. So, three to four times every year, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service lorries roll into town, and I happily donate to them a pint of my blood. It’s just one of the small things that I can do for others, and if it saves even one life… . I would encourage everyone that can afford to give their blood to do so, but it’s a matter of free choice.

Anyway, I liked the way my silhouette came out in the photo, sort of representing the unknown recipients … and the people that don’t know they are going to be recipients.

Into My Arms

I’ve been listening to Nick Cave all night tonight. I suppose I’ve been in that kinda of mood. I have a gentle sort of peacefulness hanging over me now. It feels nice. Anyway, here’s a song from the man in question

hmmmm, youTube have a habit of removing video’s don’t they. C’est la vie.

My Aching Body

It had been waiting to go back playing indoor soccer since last April. I finally gave up playing with the young lads because of a number of factors.

  • The young lads were getting faster and faster every year … so I found myself resorting to dirty tactics to stop them from running straight past me.
  • A case of sciatica from ten years ago that has not gone away properly … so it raises its ugly head every now and again
  • A left knee that has begun clicking and just doesn’t feel right any more
  • A groin injury from last April, that refuses to clear up properly (though I’m pretty sure that it’s got to do with my back also.
  • Advice from a friend of mine that says that the injuries you get when you’re over thirty are the ones that never go away properly, and you just have to live with them as best you can.
  • I’ve got other things to do with my time. My weekends have been dedicated to sport for the last 15 years, and I need to do the things that I want to do, like visit friends, give more time to my girlfriend, and just enjoy life a little more without stressing myself too much.
  • And, after all this time playing, I felt that I needed to give something back … so I now train the under 13’s twice a week, and that’s commitment enough.

So there I was last night, all togged out and ready to go. I was feeling good in myself so I expected a good session. Fifteen minutes later, I was breathless and though I was going to cough up my lungs, and also had an unmerciful stitch in my side. (Of course I had the flu for the last few weeks, so it was to be expected) I carried on until the hour was nearly over whereon someone thankfully kicked the ball high up, where it duly got stuck in a heater just under the ceiling. Hurray!! Our session was cut short by ten minutes.

This morning, I am not too bad actually. Just some sore and tight muscles, hut nothing that was not expected, so I am grateful of that.

But, I am left wondering how I could feel so unfit now after all the time I have been playing sport (Soccer, Hurling, Gaelic Football and Judo, with lots of hill walking and running thrown into the mix) . But I suppose it only takes a few months for the body to wind down … and develop the beginnings of a pouch where any prospective six pack should be placed. (Nobody will be seeing them for a long time to come!!!). So I’ll have to buck up, start training properly again, eat less and better food, and generally do good things for the winter. Oh, I can feel the pain of all I need to do. Now where did I put those chocolate biscuits?????

On Recovering … at last!

A hot lemon drink to soothe the throat

A few days ago I wrote that I wasn’t feeling the best! Now I get sick fairly rarely … so when I picked up the flu that has been going around in the last few days, I got a good dose of it. I can’t remember when I last spent three days in bed.
I’m okay now, but I’m still far from perfect, but I’m able to get around and do the daily farm work … but just the basics at the moment. I can’t do anything strenuous or I’ll relapse again for the second time. Thankfully my dad was okay and was able to manage the place while was bedridden.

I tried to stay away from people. I didn’t want to infect anyone … but of course my dad has it now and he’s just spent his third day in bed. He must bored stiff… and cursing me at the same time.

Ahhhhh, all this self-pity. If I just got up off my ass and forgot about it, all would be okay.

While I was tucked away for those few days, I started reading The Life of Pi on recommendation from friend. Well I started two months ago, but left the book on a plane after me (yes, i’m an airhead), so I’m now reading the copy I purchased to replace the old one. Reading is something I used to do a lot of when I was young, but somehow along the way, I seem to have lost the time and patience to just enjoy a good read. Nowadays I just tend to read more serious stuff like papers, journals, magazines and blogs. Factual things … but this fiction is a break into another world for me. It is a nice change. Something I would like to do a little more of.

I’ve arrived

Having upped my goods lock stock an barrel from my previous blog, I have arrived at my destination. The flower above best symbolizes to me my reawakening (hopefully). It is so vivid and full of colour, and its petals are opened wide like arms outstretched welcoming a dear old friend.

It is much better, warmer and happier than my picture (below)that I put on my old blog when leaving there. Sad to go, but a whole lot of time ahead of me all the same.

sadness on departure

You’ll know when you’ve seen the above picture, if you’ve arrived at the right place or not!